Auto Shankar: In late 1988, nine girls from the Thiruvanmiyur section of Chennai went missing in a period of approximately 6 months. Investigators thought that the girls were sold into prostitution by their respective families, however constant denial by the girls' kin made them probe these disappearances in another way. In December of the same year, a school girl named Subalakshmi complained that an auto rickshaw driver attempted to manhandle and abduct her in front of a local wine shop. The cops went undercover and started working in the wine shop. It's from there that they discovered a man named Shankar behind this crime. Shankar would kindap these girls, kill them, cremate them and drop the ashes in the Bay of Bengal. It was only after his arrest that then he was known to be as Auto Shankar. Pic/YouTube
Raman Raghav: Also known as Sindhi Dalwai, Raman Raghav committed several murders in the outskirts of Mumbai in the mid-1960s. Most of his victims were usually pavement and hutment dwellers, who were bludgeoned to death with a blunt object of some sort. After his arrest, he was initially reluctant to divulge any information regarding the killings but later confessed to having committed 41 murders and even gave a detailed account of his modus operandi. He was awarded the death sentence but after being tested by a team of psychiatrists, who found him to be suffering from schizophrenia, Raghav's sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. He died at Sassoon Hospital in 1995. Pic/YouTube
Mallika: Currently serving a life sentence after being convicted of 6 counts of murders, Mallika is considered to be the first female serial killer. She would pretend to be someone well-versed in rituals and befriend women in temples, and later call them to another temple far away in a secluded location. The victims would be requested to show up in their fineries. Mallika would then ask them to consume cyanide-laced holy water or prasad. She would then take off with their valuables. Pic/YouTube
Charles Sobhraj: The 'Bikini Killer' Charles Sobhraj, also known as the 'Serpent', due to his cunning and skill at deception, preyed on Western tourists throughout Southeast Asia. A French serial killer of Vietnamese and Indian origin, Sobhraj allegedly committed at least a dozen murders in the 1970s. He was convicted and jailed in India from 1976-97. After his release, he retired as a celebrity in Paris. He returned to Nepal and was arrested and tried there. Sobhraj received a sentence of life imprisonment. Sobhraj enjoyed the attention, charging large amounts of money for interviews and film rights. He has been the subject of four books and three documentaries.
Thug Behram: Believed to be one of the world's most prolific serial killers, Thug Behram, is said to have committed nearly 931 murders. He would utilise a ceremonial cloth to strangle his victims to death and was active between 1790-1840 in Oudh, northern central India. Behram was the leader of the Thuggee cult, who were notorious for committing a series of murders and robberies. He was executed in 1840 by hanging. Pic/YouTube
Darbara Singh: An ex-army man, Singh murdered the children of migrants in Jalandhar, Punjab by slitting their throats. He even claimed to have had sex with their dead bodies and "celebrated the murders by drinking alcohol and eating good food". The main reason behind these heinous crimes was his hatred for migrants. Singh was awarded the death sentence in 2008, which was reduced to life imprisonment later. Pic/YouTube
Cyanide Mohan: Kumar aka Cyanide Mohan was tried and convicted for the murder of 20 women by a Mangalore fast court and later sentenced to death in 2013. He would lure women, who were unable to pay dowry or look for suitable husbands and give them cyanide pills claiming they were contraceptives. Mohan would then rob them of their jewellery. Apart from murder, Mohan was also alleged to have been involved in bank loan frauds and forgeries. He was also a physical education teacher at a primary school between 1980 and 2003. Pic/YouTube
Devendra Sharma: Despite being a successful doctor of Ayurvedic medicine, Devendra Sharma had a darker side. He wanted to earn quick cash by boosting cars but also didn't mind the blood that came with it. Between 2002 and 2004 Sharma stole cars and killed car drivers from many areas in and around Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. He ended up confessing to 30-40 murders and was later sentenced to death in 2008. Pic/YouTube
Chandrakant Jha: The native of Bihar, who migrated to Delhi in 1986, was arrested and imprisoned for his first murder in 1998 until 2002. After his release, a labourer by profession, Jha went on a murder spree, where he would murder his victims, who were generally his employees for the slightest provocation, cut their bodies into many pieces and scatter them around the city. He did this so as to make police investigations a difficult task and also as revenge against cops, for the harsh treatment meted out to him during his first prison sentence. Jha was sentenced to death in 2013, after his arrest and conviction in 2007 for six counts of murder. Pic/YouTube
Stoneman: Dubbed Stoneman by Kolkata's English print media, this unidentified person was a serial killer active in the city in June 1989. At least 13 homeless people were believed to be murdered during their sleep by the Stoneman. The Kolkata police were unable to determine, whether the murders were committed by a single individual or a group of people. Considered one of the greatest unsolved mysteries to this day, the killer or killers still remain at large. Representational Picture/YouTube
Beer Man: The Beer Man was serial killer active in south Mumbai between October 2006 and January 2007 during which he murdered 6 people. The nickname was bestowed for leaving beer bottles besides the body of each of his victims. A man named Ravindra Kantrole was charged with the 7th murder and also two others, but was cleared of any involvement and acquitted in September 2009 due to lack of evidence. The identity of the real killer still remains unknown even to this day. Representational picture
Whether it's for money, a particular motive or just for the pleasure of it, serial killings in India have been carried out in horrifying ways. On Auto Shankar's birthday, we look at 11 people behind such gruesome acts...
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